The National Ballet's Manon
Posted: Nov 19 2014
With cat-fights and brawls, gunshots, drunken dirty dancing and sensual, at times racy love scenes, ladies and gentlemen, this is not your grandmother’s ballet – viewer discretion is advised.
Manon is a tragic tale about a pair of star-crossed lovers plagued by the greed and lust that surrounds and ultimately consumes them. The cast delivers beautiful performances - as always, it is impossible to take your eyes off Sonia Rodriguez. As Manon, she elicited both pity and contempt with gravity defying grace and elegance.
Synonymous with love and femininity, Chloé was appropriately the presenting sponsor of The National Ballet of Canada’s production of Manon. The Chic Canuck attended a special pre-performance reception and sampled their new fragrance, Chloé Love Story.
Choreographed by Kenneth MacMillan, L’histoire de Manon was based on the novel, Manon Lescaut, a controversial book in its time that was banned in France upon publication due to its scandalous content. Inspired by the book and later stage adaptations, MacMillan’s ballet was first performed by The Royal Ballet in London in 1974, to mixed reviews. While some critics initially called the lead character “a slut” and the production “an appalling waste” of talent, opening night audiences offered standing ovations.
Perhaps the intensity is not too much for today’s viewers but at the time, Manon might have been the ballet equivalent of a Tarantino film. Today it is praised for its raw and unapologetic realism, innovative choreography and dark, dramatic storytelling.
Unlike Manon, Chloé’s love story has a happy ending. Set in the endlessly romantic streets of Paris and culminating under the famous Pont des Arts (a pedestrian bridge in Paris which crosses the River Seine), the perfume bottle is a reference to the padlocks placed there by countless lovers. Released this fall, the new fragrance, inspired by french romance, is feminine and floral yet fresh and modern, like its protagonist (played by French actress Clémence Poésy), with notes of orange blossom and jasmine. Click here to see the campaign, filmed by the beautiful and multi-talented Mélanie Laurent.